It’s been awhile since we’ve posted one of these types of articles. Since the legislature again failed this past session to address pension reform (passed separate bills), here’s a pension run amok story to start your day. For those new to the site, we only reference these articles because the exploding public pension bills in IL inevitably will mean higher taxes for you in some form or fashion -income tax or real estate tax, take your pick- but also coupled with continued cuts in current educational funding.
from District website-
“Application: Hawthorn Reorganization Committee – Complete by June 10
The Superintendent is looking for volunteers to serve on the Hawthorn School Reorganization Committee. If you are interested in being considered, please complete the online application by June 10. More information is available in the AYP/School Choice Update web article.”
We live in a Republic – 50 states, 50 different experiments. That may change under Common Core:
From Hawthorn 73′s website -
“During the May 6 meeting of the Hawthorn Board of Education, three newly elected members were sworn in – Louis Gatta, Jeanne Engelkemeir and Ghita Mueller. In other business, the board elected new officers. Jeff Bard was elected Board President, Michelle Comitor was elected Vice-President, and Jeanne Engelkemeir was elected Secretary. Information about school board meetings is available on the school board webpages.”
This website has received several questions from concerned parents on how to go about getting involved in the next committee that will be convened on AYP. Per the School Board, that committee is due to provide recommendations in December, 2013.
In an effort to help answer some of these questions, the Hawthorn 73 Parent Group has reached out via e-mail to Superintendent Dr. Brown to possibly gather more information. We will let everyone know via this website when we hear back with details. If any of our readers has any further information on how to be a part of this committee, please either leave us a comment or send us an email at email@example.com.
The School Board meeting last night was an entertaining one and definitely worth watching if you missed it. The video checked in at a hefty 2 hours and 42 minutes. Check it out at http://media.hawthorn73.org/board_meeting_042213.m4v
First of all, this website commends those in the community who showed up to voice their opinion on this current predicament we face. There was no shortage of passion or opinion on both sides of the fence when it came to school choice. We realize that these decisions are not easy by any means. The problems are complex. The potential solutions are varied. Solving these problems requires conversation, planning, and discussions commensurate with the importance and complexity of that decision.
After observing the discussions in the meeting last night, it is the opinion of this website that the Board isn’t appropriately prepared to make such a decision in the two weeks they have been given. Listening to the conversations, it became obvious that making a recommendation to remove choice is clearly premature. Kudos to Board Member Jayson Tran, who appropriately suggested that before we remove choice, we first need to have a deeper discussion (involving the voice of the community) on whether or not that decision makes sense.
It was also interesting to watch the difference of opinions among the Board Members. At one point, in making the case for change, one Board Member referred to an online survey that was up for less than two weeks (which most of the community was unaware of) and stated that upon reading every comment submitted that “Overwhelmingly, the majority of parents going (sic) to neighborhood schools”. This comment struck us as odd given the clear dissension between many in the community and the current recommendation. To draw a conclusion like that seemed quite incongruent.
So where did we end up after several hours of discussion? The Board agreed with moving pre-K out of Aspen to accommodate the potential impact of offering the choice to move there. As to the second recommendation, the official wording was as follows:
“The Board approves the formation of committees with the goal of evaluating reorganization of the elementary schools. These committees will have a target report date of December 2013.”
So there you have it. More work to be done and more decisions to be made. In listening to the commentary from the Board Members on the process, it became clear that the influence of the community changed the recommendation made by the Board. Anyone who observed this meeting should realize that regardless of the future outcome, the process worked. The community wasn’t ready to get behind a decision. The Board quickly realized this. And as a result, a more thorough study in the coming months will be conducted.
It is also important to note the upcoming decisions will be carried forth by three new incoming Board Members. This website thanks the three outgoing Board Members for their service and welcomes the new members to the process.
In the words of one concerned parent…”let’s look before we leap”. And in the words of outgoing Board President Tim Shanahan…”Democracy is alive and well”. This website agrees with both of those opinions.
The beat goes on…
By Michael Holtz, Chicago Tribune reporter
3:03 p.m. CDT, April 12, 2013
School choice may soon be mostly a thing of the past in Vernon Hills, where Hawthorn School District 73 officials are debating a proposal that calls for a gradual return to neighborhood schools.
The proposal was unveiled Monday at a crowded school board meeting. Nearly 100 parents and teachers filled the boardroom. After months of discussion, attendees said they wanted to hear the much-anticipated plan for themselves. End of excerpt. For more of Holtz’ article, please click below:
Another Board Meeting Tonight, April 22nd !!
School districts learn to cut costs as state funds dwindle
Buried deep in this piece is this quote –> “…if state money for suburban and downstate teacher pensions is added to the equation, education funding would actually rise next school year.”
Well, whaddya know.
The Ponzi scheme has reached its zenith. Expect the wave to hit hard.
AYP meeting tentatively rescheduled for March 12th.
Per the Hawthorn73.org website…
“Hawthorn is currently examining our school choice program and how we place students in our schools. This examination is being done in light of the fact that our choice program as currently configured does not comply with current law, as outlined by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and our performance toward Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets.”
“In support of that decision-making, parents are encouraged learn more and give input by attending the AYP/School Choice Meeting and Round Table Discussion on Tuesday, March 5 beginning at 7 p.m. at Hawthorn Middle South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills.”
So there you have it…Ch-ch-ch-changes are a comin’. Over the past couple years this blog site has made significant efforts to keep people informed of the issues of the district and to make concerned parents aware. In addition to the budgeting issues that have plagued us over the past couple years, we now have an additional issue that will potentially significantly impact the education system and structure for our children. The Hawthorn 73 Parent Group Blog encourages all parents to get involved and attend the meeting on March 5th. As taxpayers and parents, this is an opportunity to contribute your ideas and input into how we can urge our leaders to optimally resolve the challenges our school district faces.